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42 Gallon Hex Tank Build

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The Controller
This I guess is a good time to talk about the controller. Originally I chose the Reefkeeper Elite as my controller. That was in October 2008. I purchased the Reefkeeper system with the NET module. Like most new toys I did not just leave it in the box until I was ready to use it. I hooked it up and got started with programming the controller. I even got a container of salt water for the various probes. Before long I was helping others with programming on the manufacturer's forum. It wasn't long before  the manufacturer in this case Digital Aquatics noticed. They ask about my background and then ask if I would like to be a Team DA member. So naturally I said yes. A Team DA member is not a Digital Aquatics employee but was there to help other fellow aquarist with programming issues and answering the common questions that new users might have. I did this for several years. One of the perks was I got to try out new things before they were available to the general public. I didn't get every module or new device. It has to be something I could use and put through it's paces. One of the items I got to try out is their Archon controller as a beta tester. So by the time I had the tank up and running I had the Archon in hand ready for the tank.
The Archon improved quite a bit since it was first introduced. It is basically a Linux based computer with a built in module. The built in module has a interface for the buss used by all the Reefkeeper modules. The same modules that are used with the Reefkeeper Elite and Reefkeeper Lite.  There are 4 of these buss ports on the Archon ( upper right part of Archon in photo below). One is dedicated to a iTemp temp probe ( the bottom of the 4 buss ports in photo below). The other three can be used to connect to any of the modules (the silver buss cable in the upper right is connected to one these ). The Archon comes with it's own power pack so buss power is not an issue. The other ports are  2 ports that can be configured for either pH or ORP ( the two BNC's in upper left), 4 switch input ports, 4 0-10v ports, 2 PWM ports. Two of the 0-10v ports ( between the pH ports and the RJ45 jacks middle left with white wires hooked to them) have the same connector as the APC module. So the same cables used with the APC can be used with the Archon. The switch ports, other 2 0-10v ports and PWM ports are accessed via 2 RJ45 jacks (the silver cables are hooked here bottom left). There is a module that breaks these out to terminals. It is the IOE module( above the Archon on the left). Only one IOE is required per Archon. You can also use you own cables or use a cat 5 cable to break out the individual wires. There is one USB port (Right side of Archon near bottom) which is currently used for a USB drive. All the boot up files and graphing is stored here. Once booted up only the graphing is done on the USB drive. The remaining is a wired network jack (on right just above USB port) and the power jack ( on right between buss jack and network jack). The module in the upper left corner is the IOE module. I am currently using two of the switch inputs and the two PWM outputs. There are three terminals strips to the right of the IOE . The one on the left goes back to the back cabinet and then is connected to a cable up to the canopy. This has the two PWM channels hooked to it from the IOE module. These are used for the control of the royal blue and UV lighting. The center terminal strip is connected to two of the 0-10v outputs from the Archon ( the white wires are connected to this ).  The terminal strip on the right goes to a terminal strip in the back cabinet. This has one switch inputs connected from the IOE and one of the 0-10v outputs from the center terminal strip. The switch input is connected to the back float switch used for leak detection. Another switch input from the IOE is connected to the front leak dection float switch. The 0-10v output controls the intensity of the lights for the refugium. The module below the Archon on the left is a SW5 module. It has 4 switch inputs and 1 relay output. The switch inputs are connected to 4 float switches in the sump. One is low level, one is full switch and one is overfull. The fourth can be used to replace one of the others. At the moment it is setup as a secondary full switch below the level of the other full swtich. This controls a backup ATO pump. The relay output is used to control the cooling fans for the sump. The module to the right of the SW5 is an SLX module. It has a temp input, pH input, ORP input and two switch inputs. One of the switch inputs is used on a float switch in the sump to control a pump to fill the sump in the event the return pump is off. The module just below the SLX module is a SL2 module. It has a temp input, pH input, salinity input and two switch inputs. The switch inputs are not currently used. 
As I stated earlier I was a beta tester so I had temp, pH, ORP and salinity probes hooked to all available inputs. At one time I had another module connected with all probes. At this time I have 3 temp probes, three pH probes, two ORP probes and one salinity probe in the tank. The original RKE head unit is still mounted in the door om the front of the stand. It is no longer hooked to the system though. I have another raised panel, but have not got around to changing it out at this point.
There is a HUB module ( module above power bars in photo below ) mounted in the back cabinet. This is basically a 5 way buss splitter. One connection is connected to a keystone coupler on the back panel. This is connected to a wall plate that goes to the modules in the garage. Three of the connections are connected to a PC4 power bar each. The power bars are in the back cabinet. Two of the power bars are then connected to the module or modules in the front cabinet.  The module on the left is connected to one PC4 and the modules on the right are connected to the other. The third PC4 power bar is connected to the modules in the canopy. These modules are the MLC to control the moon pods and the AVC module which controls the red, green, blue and white lighting .The last HUB  connection is connected to one of the buss connectors on the Archon.
In the photo below are two of the three PC4's in the back cabinet. The one on the right controls the power to the MP10's, return pump and skimmer. The one on the left controls the two reactor pumps and two heaters.
Below im the photo is the third PC4 power bar. This one now controls the power to the Refugium lights, 24v supply, Swabbie and pump used to fill sump when return pump is turned off.
There are three power bars, a HUB module in the garage. Two are PC4's and one is a PB4. There are also 5 DP1 dosing pump modules. One dosing pump is used for ATO and two for auto water change. The other two are not used at the moment but are avalible in the event one being used has an issue and needs to be replaced till it can be repaired. The only issue being if it is one of the auto water change pumps the replacement will need to be calibrated to the remaining pump. The dosing pump modules have two switch inputs each. These are used to monitor the levels in the storage tanks and leak detection. The power bars control the three solenoids used on the RODI and any pumps used in the garage. One is the input to the RODI. There is another that controls flow to the DI storage tank and one that controls flow to the mixing tank. The RODI is used for RO water to my fridge also so the input turns on for 10 minutes every hour to refill the bladder in the RO storage tank. The solenoids cannot be powered full time so this was the only option I could come up with. If the DI tank goes empty the DI and input solenoids will be turned on until it is full. This tank holds about ten gallons.  If the mixing tank is emptied the input solenoid and mix solenoid it turn on until the tank is full. Then I just have to add the salt mix to get it ready for use. I have another tank where fresh salt water is stored for the auto water changes. I have enough spare power bars and modules to set up my 110 if I am still using the controller by then. Unfortunately the manufacturer decided to get out of the hobby controller business. I did find other options for some of the replacement parts.
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It's a shame the digital aquatics guys went out of business.  I know a few people who got burned by that

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3 hours ago, jolt said:

It's a shame the digital aquatics guys went out of business.  I know a few people who got burned by that

Dynon Avionics is still around. They just decided to drop the Digital Aquatics line. I guess they needed the manufacturing output for their avionics products. I wish they could have found a way to keep Digital Aquatics going though. I became freinds over the years with the employees that were layed off when they shut it down. I will continue to use mine as long as I can keep it running or until I find something I like better. I started a thread here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/alternatives-to-digital-aquatics-probes-and-parts.439573/ for replacement parts and probes. 

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The Controller Initial Setup

The Archon is easy to setup. It has it own WIFI hot spot that is on all the time. To setup the Archon you just plug in the power supply and plug the supply into an outlet. No need to hook any other modules at this time. I was an iPad these screenshots but you could use a computer or a phone also.  Go to where you select the WIFI network you wish to connect with on the device you are using.  The Archon should show as one of the networks.


Choose the Archon network like in the photo below.


Now launch your web browser. Firefox works best with the Archon. Also Safari works well. Type in for the website address. You will get a login box to put in name and password.


The default is

Name      : DigitalAquatics

Password: password

This can be changed in the setup page.

Once logged in you will be on the home page of the Archon. My homepage in shown in the screenshot below. A new archon will not have all the output and input tiles that are on the screenshot below. Otherwise it will be the same. I will go over this page later but now we are interested in setup so click the setup button in the menu at the top above the input and output tiles.


This will give you the screen below.  The first thing to setup is the wireless setup. After that you can access the Archon over you network. Under wireless setup Click the show information button.


Now you should have the wireless entry fields displayed on the right side of the screen. Click the down arrow on the SSID entry list box.


Note: My system already had the wireless setup done. The wireless data fields will come up blank even if they were previously setup. This is not a fault in the system and was done as a security feature. Personal data that has been entered is not displayed after the webpage has been refreshed. This applies to most settings with personal information.


A list will pop up with the networks available. Chose the one you want the Archon on. In my case I chose my network as shown below.


Now select the encryption type used on that network.


In my case I chose WPA2. Now enter the encryption key for the network. Then click the update button.


Now click the View Information button under Update Archon Connection. This is to find out what name is used by the Archon. It is archon on mine. Look under Set Hostname. You can also change this, the port and the access point address when on the Archon network here. I don't see any reason to change these. 


Now you can get back on the network you connected the Archon to if you want. Or you  can do the rest of the setup from here. To change the login and password just enter the name and password you want in the appropriate fields below Archon Login & Password then click the Save Login/Password button. To set the email address or addresses you want alerts emailed Type in the address or addresses in the field below Setup Email. If more than one address separate them with a comma.  Click the update button. Then you can click test to see if you receive a test email.


The only thing left is to turn on/off additional interfaces. The only thing there is EcoTech. You can select whether the EcoTech button is present on the menu bar. If you click the EcoTech button it forwards you to the login webpage for reeflink. The screen shot of additional companies is in the photo below. I do have the reeflink so I can get to that webpage from the Archon controller webpage by clicking the EcoTech button.


Once you log into the network you setup the Archon to be on you should be able to enter the hostname with a / for the website to access the Archon. In my case that is "archon/". The screenshot below is of the homepage on my Archon after login via the network.

You will have to enter the name and password you chose during setup to get into the Archon. If you didn't change it then it will still be the default name and password listed earlier. 


After setup you can still use the WIFI hot spot to access the Archon if needed. Once setup you can attach the modules in the order that you wish them to be in the tiles. That is it for initial setup of the Archon. I will get into homepage setup and programming  later.

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Controller Homepage
Now on to the homepage. Below is a view of my homepage. Just below the Archon name is the menu. It may take more than one line. depending on the device you are using and the way it is rotated to display the webpage. Below the menu there is two rows of tiles on the iPad or computer. On a phone it is all inline. The output first then below that the inputs. On a computer or tablet the left is outputs and the right is inputs. On a new Archon there would only be a few tiles displayed. The graph/webcam is either at the bottom of one of the rows or to the right of the input row. On a computer the graph can be double clicked to view the graph in full size. Double click again and it returns to normal size.


You can choose up to 10 tiles of outputs and up to 10 tiles of inputs from all the outputs and inputs attached to the system. To choose click on the gear in the upper right side of either row. The screenshot below shows the screen after clicking one of the gears. To choose tiles click the box on the ones you want displayed on the home screen. If there are too many to fit on the screen you can scroll through them like here.


In the screenshot below the output side is scrolled all the way to the end of the list.


In the screenshot below the inputs have been scrolled all the way to the end of the list. At the end of either list is a update button. Once you have all the outputs and inputs selected you want displayed then click one of the update buttons to update the home page.


The tiles have a symbol for a graph in the upper right corner of the tile. To display  a graph click the appropriate graph symbol for the port you wish to view. In the screenshot below I clicked on the iTemp port of the Archon module. The graph for that port is shown in the graph display. You can move the slider below the graph to magnify a portion of the graph.


The screenshot below shows the sliders moved to magnify the graph. I have the graphing set to sample every 5 minutes at this time. I think I am going to increase this to 15 minutes.


If you click on the gear for Graph/Webcam you get to select either graph or webcam to be displayed. This is only for the current session. If you leave the webpage and come back it reverts to the default of graph. After you select and click done which ever one you selected will be displayed. In the case here I choose webcam. Also this screenshot was using Firefox. Most of the others are using Safari.


The output tiles have Off Auto On across the bottom. You can click these to change that output to that state. A warning if you set an output to on or off it will remain there until you change it back to auto or the controller is reset. The output will only react to alarms if it is in auto. Be careful when scrolling. I usually try to stay on the center of the tiles. That way it doesn't accidentally get set to on or off. Below is a screenshot of the top left output Lunar White in the off mode.


Below is a screenshot of the same output Lunar White in the on mode. This particular output is a varible output. In the on mode it will be on at 100%.


All outputs and inputs can be named. I will get into changing the name during programming. The name you select is displayed in the upper left of the output tiles and upper middle of the input tiles. The upper left of the input tiles is displayed the module name the port is on. Modules can also be named. The upper middle of the output tiles displays that ports current state.   The input tiles display the current reading or state in the bottom left of the tile.  Switch inputs are displayed as open or closed.

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What a great read, wow! You have amazing attention to detail, I can see why your wife wants you to build the cabinets!

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

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14 hours ago, KimP said:

What a great read, wow! You have amazing attention to detail, I can see why your wife wants you to build the cabinets!

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

Thank you. 

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Controller Alarms

Now I will go over setting up an alarm. I figured I would get to this before programming since they are used to help program the output ports. To setup a new alarm you would go to the system page by clicking the System button. Once on the system page you would click the new button to the right of the alarm list box. Since I have several alarms already set up in the screenshot below I clicked the alarm list box to select a alarm. The list box scrolls if you have a lot of alarms like I do. 


Once you have selected the alarm  and clicked the show data button or clicked the new button the data shows on the right side of the screen. The first entry field is the Alarm name. The default name would be alarm with a number attached like Alarm3. In this field you can rename it like I did My name is 42g Low Temp. This alarm is for my 42 gallon hex tank and it is a Low Temp Alarm.


Under device you select the port you are using for the alarm input. By clicking the down arrow on the device list box you will get a list of all the ports attached to the Archon system. Notice the set of numbers separated with a ":". The first number is the module number the port is on and the second number is the port number. This is not important to setting up an alarm but it is important if you use some of the direct commands to do things on the Archon. After the "-" is the port name. This is either the default name are the name you have given that port. Module 0 is always the module built into the Archon unit itself. The other numbers are assigned as the modules are discovered by the Archon. If you want them in a certain numerical order then you would hook them to the system for the first time one at a time in that order. This list also scrolls. In the screenshot below the temp port on module 0 has been chosen. This happens to be the Archon module. The numbers to the left of the name in this case 0:7 The number on the left is the module number. The number on the right is the port number. In the case of alarms the numbers really don't matter. In some other cases you will need these.


There are a lot of ports on my system so instead of scrolling through the whole list I can select a smaller set by choosing a sort by. In this case we can choose Temp to just display the temp ports.


After choosing to sort on temp, when I select the device list box it only shows the available temp ports. See screenshot below. At this point I use the iTemp port to control the heaters and cooling fans. I use the temp port from the Archon for the temp alarms. The over temp alarm will turn off the heater. The low temp alarm will turn off the fans. This way if the temp probe controlling the heater and fans fails the temp alarms will still work. If the Archon iTemp probe fails it will set off one of the alarms. 


After selecting the port to use set the trip point (see screenshot below). I set mine at 75 degrees. I also checked the Trip when low check box since I want the alarm to trip when it drops below the trip point. In the Hysteresis field  you set the amount of hysteresis you want in the alarm. This determines when the alarm will reset out of the alarm state go back to normal. The higher the value the less repeat emails you will get because it will have to have a higher swing before it resets. Next you will select the alarm type. The flash and beep are a carryover from the RKE/RKL alarm programming. Beep will not cause a beep. I don't know if flash will cause something to happen on the webpage. I have not tried it to see. Mainly it is email that you will either have checked or not. If you use alarms for control of an outlet that is a normal function and not something you would need to be alerted for then email should not be checked.  The multi controller I will get into later. There is only one allowed per system. I used this on the return pump.  The information below MultiController Off is not for the alarm setup.  After all the information has been setup click the Update button to the right of the Alarm name field. You can use a output port for the device. If fact I do this with the return pump. I have a alarm setup to trigger if the return pump is off. This alarm is used to turn off all the devices that rely on the water flow of the return pump. In my case this is all heating and cooling. It also turns off the skimmer, Calcium reactor pump and the bio pellet pump when the return pump is off. You can use a single alarm on more than one output or control an output with more than one alarm. Since an alarm can be set to either turn on or off an output if you have conflicting alarms the alarm that was created first will get control. Most of the time you would be setting it up to turn off the output. It is just something to remember if you are using alarms to both turn on and turn off the same output port.

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Controller Timers

The reason I am going over my controller is if someone wants to do something I have done with it hopefully I am giving them enough information to understand how it works and they can change things so they will work on whatever controller they choose to use. The odds of running across one of these now is slim. 

Next I will go over creating and setting up a timer. To setup a new timer you would go to the System page by clicking on the System button on the menu. Once there you would click the new button to the right of the Timers list box to create a new timer. 


Since I have several timers already setup I clicked the Timers listbox down arrow to get a list of timers. I then selected one of the existing timers to show the data. The data will not show to the right until the Show Data button is clicked. As you can see from the screenshot below there  no timer data there.


Once you click either the Show Data the data will appear to the right. Of coarse this is only on the tablets and computers. On a phone there is just a single column. So the data on a phone would be below.  The first item of data is the timer name field. It default name will be Timer with a number attached. That would not be very user friendly so to change it just type over the default name with the one you want to use. In the screenshot below I renamed it to Red LED's 42g. For me that means it is a timer for red LED's in the 42 gallon hex tank. Next you can select the days of the week you want the timer to be active. A quick way to select all 7 would be to check the Check All box. After that the next data field is Start time. This is entered in HH:MM:SS. H is hours, M is minutes and S is seconds. You only need 2 digits if there is that many hours, minutes or seconds. In the screenshot below it is set a 10:00. Since this is 12 hour time the next selection is AM or PM for the start time. The next data field is On For. This is the amount of time you want the timer to be active. In the screenshot below it is 6 hours. This is also entered in HH:MM:SS. The next data field in Off For. If this was a standard one cycle timer this would only have to be one minute. but since this timer is for a ramped output. The Off For has to be longer than the ramp time. My ramp time for the output this timer is used is 4 hours so I set the off time for 5 hours. If the off time is not longer than the ramp time then the ramp down will stop where the off time expires. My lights are actually on for 10 hours but they start out a 1% and work their way up to the maximum I have set. Once 6 hours expires the ramp back down to no light over a 4 hour period. Another reason for a longer off time is if the timer will repeat or be used as a Continue forever timer. The next data field is Repeat x times. This will repeat the On for and Off for sequence however many time you set here. Since I have not used this one in a while I cannot remember if it is still like the RKE/RKL where it runs the sequence once then repeats the number set or it just runs the number set. I think I remember it being changed back and forth once as to how this works. In any case I think 0 will just run once. The next check box is Continue forever. Continue forever is kinda misleading. When you use this the On for and Off for sequence will start and continue to repeat as long as the unit is powered up. The start time has no affect on this. The sequence will start as soon as the update button is pressed or as soon as the unit is powered up and running. 


Continue forever may not work for a dosing timer as all timers programmed like this could or would dose at the same time on reset or power up. There is a multi-timer function that allows control with up to three timers. This would be a better choice for dosing as you can split the daily dosing into three separate sections of time and use the repeat on the three timers to get it to dose the number of times you need during that time period. This way if there is a power failure you don't loose as many doses as you would with one timer. The start time triggers the timer and if it is already passed it will not trigger until the next start time. So if you have the day split into three time section you could only loose the dosing for that one section. That is a lot better than the potential of loosing a whole day. I do not dose at this point but I do have auto water change timers setup similar to this. They just don't use repeat but there are three seperate timers setup for the water change sequence during the day. The three timers are listed below. In this sequence my auto water change pumps run for 15 minuts and 26 seconds three times a day to get the amount of water changed daily that I want. I will go into this later. I do have a forth timer for the fill pump. If I need to raise or lower the salinity I will change the time a little one way or the other for several days then go back to the same timer for all the pumps.





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Controller ATO output Programming

Now I am going to go through programming an output. This will be the ATO output for my tank. I use a DP1 as the ATO pump. I also will use the FloatSwitch function on this output. Select outputs in the menu at top of web page. Below is a screenshot of the outputs web page. The following screen shots were from a Surface computer. I did this to give you an idea what the screens look like on a computer. Also I was away from home while getting these screenshots and I had to use the computer to blank out the website area. Next scroll to select the output you wanting to program. Notice on the computer screenshots the scroll bars are shown. On the touch screen devices they are not needed to scroll. On computers without touch screens they are needed.


Click the gear in the upper right corner of the tile for the output you want to program. This will give a similar screen as the below screenshot. Since this output was already programmed the function data is already shown, If this were the first time programming the output then the output function data would not be shown on the screen. You can also change the name of the module the output is on and the name of the output from here. I have the module name DP1 42GR1. This tells me that it is a DP1 in the garage and it the first DP out of three. I named the output ATO so I can see this is my ATO output.

ATO Output.jpg

 Below is a screenshot of the function list for selecting a function. Since i want to control the ATO with a float switch I chose the FloatSwitch function for this output. Clicking the down arrow on the Current function list box will show the functions. Once the function is selected you would click show to the right of the list box to show the appropriate data fields for that function.

Function Select.jpg

The first data field is the On Input. This is the input that turns on the output being programmed. I click on the down arrow of the list box to show selections. To the right of the list box is a selection box to choose the type of input. It is already defaulted to the switch inputs. In this instance we are using the timer to turn on the output so none is chosen. If you were just using a single float here you would choose the appropriate switch input for both On Input and Off Input and leave the timer at none. For a dual switch function you would choose the lower float switch for the On Input and the higher float switch for the Off Input. A n example of the dual float switch usage is for filling a DI storage tank. I do this and will post the programming later for that usage.

On Input.jpg 

The next thing would be the On when open check box. If we were using the on input you would check this box if the float is open when the level is below the switch otherwise you would leave it unchecked as shown in the screenshot below. The next thing is the Off Input. In this case we do want to turn off the output if the level get above our full float switch in the sump. I selected the full float switch from the list.

Off Input.jpg

The next thing is Off When Open check box. Since the full float switch is setup so it is open when full I checked this box. In the screenshot below I selected the ATO Timer to use with this output. The reason for doing it this way is to limit the amount of top off added to the tank at any one time. In the event of a float failure in the closed state it would take a few day for it to be an issue.

Timer Select.jpg

The next thing is the On at Night check box. Check this box if you want the output to be active during the night period setup on the system page. In this case it would be yes so I have that box checked in the screenshot below. The next item is the Default state. In this case I have selected off. This is the state that the output will go to if the module looses communications with the controller. In this case we want it to be off.

ATO Output.jpg 

The next item is setting the alarms that the output will react to when they are active. In the screenshot below I have checked the check box on 42g Leak Stand Front, 42g Leak Stand Rear, 42g Overfull Sump and 42g Low Salinity. They all are set to turn the output off if the alarms are selected. You can use an alarm to turn on an output but in this case I just want to make sure if it has an overfull sump, a leak at the tank or a low salinity condition. Any of these indicate a problem that would need intervention before continuing with topping off with fresh DI water.

Alarm Outut  Setup.jpg

 The next item is standbys that this output will react to. In the case of this output it would be none, but I have a screenshot below if the items for standby. Standbys are selected just like the alarms. I guess you could say they a manually triggered alarm without the alert with a timer added in.

Output Standby Setup.jpg

The timer settings are in the screenshot below. Since this is using a computer the timer data is in the middle column. I have it set for all day of the week. The Start time really doesn't matter in this case since I am using continue forever so I left it at 0:0:0 AM. The on for is set for 3 minutes and 40 seconds. The off for is set for 26 minutes and 20 seconds. Continue forever is checked. This timer will start when the update button is clicked to save the timer data. So how this will wok is every 30 minutes the ATO pump will run for 3 minutes and 40 seconds and then stop unless  Full float switch is open. A open full float switch will stop the pump regardless of the timer. Also if any of the alarms selected are active it will stop the ATO pump.

ATO Timer.jpg

I have the graphs for the ATO pump, full float switch and overfull float switch below. Since this is from a computer I double clicked the graphs to get a full screen graph. I have the sliders at the bottom set to display a small portion of the data. The highlighted area in between the sliders are the area shown in the graph. Open is 100 and closed is 0 on the graphs for the float switches. For the Pump 100 is on and 0 is off.  The full float is open when full. and the Overfull float is open when it is not overfull. There are times during this period that the sump went overfull. This probably was either from me adding fluid of some type to the tank or if it is a short duration it could be me sticking my hands in the tank for some reason. Also cleaning the overflow box will trip the overfull alarm for awhile. 

ATO Pump Graph.jpg


Overfull graph.png

Before I close, the power for the 5 DP1’s is supplied by a 6v power supply. This supply is controlled by a power bar outlet. This output is programmed using the On/Off function. It is set to always on by clicking On mode. I use alarms to turn this output off if one or more of the selected alarms are triggered. I did this just in case I accidentally turn the ATO on and forget to turn it off for some reason. If a output is manually turned on the alarms on that output have no effect. In this case this will act as a backup and remove the power to the pump motor preventing the ATO from running. 

DP1 Power Output.jpg

Below is a screenshot of the alarms programmed to turn this output off. If one or more of the leak detectors or the sump overfull alarms are triggered it will turn off the output.

DP1 Power Output Alarms.jpg

That covers the ATO programming. I will cover some more outputs in a later post.

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Controller DI storage Autofill

Since I started with the ATO output the next is the auto fill programming for the DI storage tank. I have a solenoid to turn on the RODI. And a solenoid to turn on the DI output to the DI storage tank. As a backup the output in the DI storage tank has a float valve. I will start with the float switch assemblies used to do this. The tank is an old storage bin for gift rapping paper rolls. There are two holes drilled in the top of the tank. The tank also has a high top cover so there is about 6 inches from the top to the rim of the tank. Below is a photo of one of the float valve assemblies used with the storage tank. This is the one for the full switch. These are adjustable to an extent. The empty switch is longer but otherwise the same. The gray pipe is 1/4" PVC Schedule 80. It was tapped  on one end to accommodate the threads on the float switch.  The float switch has an o-ring to seal the end to keep water out of the switch. The white pipe is schedule 40 1/2" PVC. There is a PVC coupling with one end threaded and the other a slip joint. The black coupling is a probe holder I purchased from AVAST Marine. I think I got about a dozen of these. 


Since I have shown screenshots from an iPad and computer. I thought I would do this one from a phone. Below is some photos of the homepage on a android phone. The rest of the screenshots in this post are also from the same phone. Everything is in a single row on the phone. you just have to scroll to spot you want to look at.




There are two outputs used to refill the DI storage tank. One is used to turn on water flow to the RODI filter and the other is used to turn on flow to the DI storage tank itself. I scrolled to DI fill output in the screenshot below. This is the output I have programmed to auto fill the DI storage tank in the garage. To show the programming data click the gear in the tile for that output and scroll down toward the bottom to get to the data.


I used the FloatSwitch function to do this. In this case I want it to turn on when the empty float is tripped and fill until the full float is tripped.  The On Input is the Low DI Tank float switch. It is set for on when closed. The next setting is the Off Input. This input is Full DI Tank float switch. This one is set for off when open. On at night is set to on. The way this is setup the output will turn on when the Low DI Tank float switch closes and will stay on until the Full DI Tank float switch opens.  It will remain off until the Low DI Tank float switch closes again. Since I have a 10 gallon DI tank the RODI will normally produce the DI water in 10 gallon batches.


I have the DI fill output linked to two alarms. These alarms are triggered by two leak detectors. I used GRI 2600's for this. They are 12v normally closed alarms. I used the same 12v wall wart to power both alarms since they were in close proximity to each other.  Most of the switch inputs in my system have 1 as open and 0 as closed. Some do have 100 as open and 0 as closed. The ones that use 100 are from the SW5 module. I chose .5 as a trip point since it is halfway between 0 and 1. It also works with the 0 and 100 switch inputs. So anything above .5 is an open switch. Anything below .5 is a closed switch. Since the leak detectors are normally closed when tripped they would be above .5. So in this case Trip When Low check box is left unchecked. Hysteresis for a switch input is always 0.0 since there are only two states. I have the email alert checked here so I will get an alert if it detects a leak at the RODI. This detector is close enough to the storage tanks and pumps to be triggered for a leak of any one of those items.


The next alarm is not exactly aquarium related other than it is a backup for the RODI alarm. They are both in close proximity to each other and given enough time either one can trip for the same event.  This one is placed below my central AC unit. This will alert me in the event it starts leaking to the floor. In fact this one has triggered. Sure enough the drain tube where it connects to the drain pan plumbing had split and  it was leaking. Without the alarm who knows how long it would have been until it was discovered. It is next to our living room which has a floating wooden floor. The water would have ended up below the floor. If either of these alarms trip it will turn off the RODI and all the pumps in the garage.


The body of the email alert from the Archon for the AC leak in listed below. The name you give the alarm is in the body of the email. This makes it easy to know which alarm has triggered. The Custom body entered can be change to say anything you want. This would be handy if you had more than one Archon. It would be displayed in all alarms so I cannot see a need to add anything since I only have one Archon.

2017/06/13 11:41:04, id:18 - Leak AC.
Your alarm has triggered!
Custom body entered

There is also a main solenoid that has to turn on for water to flow through the RODI filter. The programming for this output is using a MultiTimer function. The solenoids I have are not for constant on use. The RODI filter also feeds RO water to my refrigerator so I have it set to turn on for 10 minutes every hour. This will allow the pressure tank to refill if there was any use at the refrigerator. 


The timer for the RODI output is in the screenshot below. All day are selected. No start time is selected since it will be a continue forever timer. It is set for on for 10 minutes and off for 50 minutes. Continue forever is checked.


To get around that when I need to fill the DI storage tank or saltwater mix tank I created two alarms to trigger if either the DI tank fill or Mix tank fill solenoids are on. The alarms setup not to send any alerts. The RODI alarm setting screenshot is below. The alarms set on the output are two leak detect alarms. The output is set to turn off if the alarms are triggered. These will have precedence over any alarm set on the list that are below them. In this case there are two alarms  DI fill On and Mix Fill On. The output is set to turn on if either or both of these alarms are triggered.


The alarm for DI fill is in the screenshot below.  The device used to trigger it is the power bar outlet DI Fill used to turn on the DI flow. It is set so when the output is on it will trigger the alarm. It is also set for no alerts.



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Controller Return Pump

For the rest of the output programming I will post the screenshots of the settings only since I have gone over setting a couple up. If there are different settings then I will go over them. The next one is an important one since it is for the return pump. The return pump I use is a Sicce Syncra 3.0. I have had a failure of the impeller a photo of the failed impeller is shown below. I had to use a backup for awhile until I could get a replacement impeller. 


OK on to the programming of the return pump. For this output I used the ReturnPump function.  That makes it an always on output. It does have a delay out of standby timer you can set. I don't use any standby's to control this output so a delay is not needed. The other selection is Channel Default. I set this to On. That way if the power bar looses communication with the Archon it will turn this output on. The module name “ PC4-42LB  “  tells me this is a PC4 power bar and it is in the 42 gallon tank in left side cabinet the back power bar on that side.


The output is set to go off for the two stand leak detectors. It will also go off for a sump low level but that is done differently using a MultiController triggered by a low sump alarm.


The two leak detector alarm settings are in the screenshots below.



The low level alarm settings are in the screenshot below. Notice the MultiController Off check box is checked. I use the one MultiController on the Archon with this alarm to turn it off for a specific time before turning it back on for a retry. I ask for them to add more maybe four like the stanby's. That never happend before Dynon decided to get out of the aquarium controller business all together.


For the MultiController to work I have to setup an output using this function. I chose to use one of the virtual channels for this. A virtual channel works like a regular output with the exception there is no actual output to control. Below is the programming for that virtual channel. This can control up to 5 outputs. I have it controlling the return pump. I set the “Revert After” to 15 minutes. If the low sump alarm is active it sets the outputs to off. The revert after setting will keep the outputs this output controls off for at least 15 minutes. The skimmer also reacts to the sump overfull alarm to keep it form running if the sump level is too high. This will prevent it from turning back on until the return pump has had time to get the level near normal.


The next alarm is triggered by the state of the return output. If the return pump output is off for any reason this alarm is triggered.  This alarm is used to turn off other outputs I don't want on such as heaters and cooling fans if the return pump is off.


That covers the return pump.

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Controller Skimmer Control

Next is the skimmer output programming. For this I used the Skimmer function. The difference between it and the ReturnPump function is the skimmer has a built in sure on timer. It has a delay timer of 15 minutes before it can be turned back on after it is turned off.  Channel default is set to off.


The alarms set to control the channel are  42g Leak Stand Front, 42g Leak Stand Rear, 42g Skimmer Full and 42g Overfull Sump.


Since I already posted the leak detect alarms. I will just show the skimmer full and overfull alarms here. The skimmer full float is in the skimmate container. If it fills to the point of activating the full float it will turn off the skimmer until it is emptied. The sump has a float switch that will trigger if the water level in the sump is higher than what is OK for the skimmer use. If this is active it will turn off the skimmer for at least 15 minutes.



That is it for the skimmer.

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Controller Heaters

Next are the heaters. I have 2 50 watt heaters each on their own output. Heater1 uses the temp probe on the SLX module for control. I am testing a non DA probe on that port. Heater2 is still using the SL2 probe for control. On the first one I have a set point of 76 degrees and a hysteresis of .2. The "On When"is defaulted to below. The "On at Night" check box is also defaulted to checked. These cannot be changed in the heater function. The "Channel Default" can be changed but I left it set to off. This heater will turn on at 75.8and go off at 76.


On the other heater output I have the set point set to 75.9 and the hysteresis set for .2. This heater will come on at 75.7 and go off at 75.9. This heater is a backup in case the first one fails or cannot keep the temp. It does come on but rarely. Both of the heaters have an internal temp set at 78 degrees as a backup in case of a controller fail. Heating seems to be on of the most common reason for crashing a tank. So I have the controller control then temp a High temp alarm just in case it does not and as a last resort the internal temp setting on the two heaters. The heating is also split between two heaters in the event of a single heater failure.


Both heaters use the same alarms. The alarms are the stand leak detectors, high temp alarm and the return off alarm. The heaters are in the sump so the return off alarm will kill the heater if the water flow is in question. The high temp alarm is just in case, but the heater should always be off before the high temp alarm is ever reached.



The high temp alarm uses a different temp input than the heaters. In this case it is the iTemp port of the Archon. That way it would take 2 bad temp probes at the same time to cause an issue. The other alarms have already been covered. The settings have been covered for alarms also so a screenshot of the settings for the over temp alarm are below. The trip point is 79.2 with a hysteresis of .3. The temp will have to get above 79.5 to trigger the alarm. It will not reset until it drops below 79.2


Below is the graph for the first heater. There is little need for the heaters during the summer months. They do help on the winter months. Even then as shown below there are sometimes a day or more without them turning on. 


Below is the graph for other heater. As you can see it doesn't come on near as much as the first heater. This chart does go back as far as August. The one for the first heater is mainly November and December.


That is it for the heater settings.


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Controller Cooling Fans

For cooling I run fans across the sump. There are two fans that sit on top of the sump between the skimmer and return pump. Below is a photo of the fan assembly. 



I use the relay output on the SW5 module to control the power to the fans. The Fan function is what I used. There is also a chiller function that is similar to the fan function for anyone using a chiller.  The fans use the temp probe attached to the Archon as an input. The set point is 77.9 degrees with a hysteresis of .2. This turns on the fans at 78.1 and turns them off at 77.9. The "On When" is defaulted to above for this function. The "Channel Default" is off for this output.


The alarms that affect this channel are the two leak detect alarms, Low Temp alarm and the return off alarm. The return off alarm is used on most of the outputs that control things in the sump. If the return pump is off then these output should also be off.


The low temp alarm is the only alarm used that has not been covered before.  This alarm is displayed below.


Below is a graph for the fan output. The fans do most of the work of temperature control on my tank.  There are normally only a couple of months with little fan action.


Below is a graph from the iTemp input on the Archon. I switched control to this input in August from another input. The graphs are sampled every minute. The fans do a good job of keeping the temp in control but for the time of the graph there was not a lot of fan use.


That is it for cooling control.

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Controller Lighting 

There are the 6 lighting control channels and two power supplies to control.  Below is a screenshot of the white channel that is in the AVC module. For lighting control I used the ramp function. There are some new settings that I have not covered with this function. The first is the maximum setting. This setting is a percentage setting where 50 would be around 50% output and 100 would be full on or 100%. On this channel I have a Maximum setting of 55%. So at the end of the ramp time the output will be at 55%. That means with PWM the output is off for 45% of the cycle and on for 55% of the cycle. That does not mean the actual light output will track with this. It depends on the drivers and LED's in this case. I have the minimum set at 0% since I want the lights off at minimum. I have ramp time of 4 hours. So it will take the lights 4 hours to go from minimum to 55%.  They will remain at 55% until the timer expires.  Once the timer expires it will start to ramp down. This will take 4 hours if allowed to complete. So actual lighting on time is the “On Time” of the timer plus the “Ramp Time”. In this case the timer “On Time” is 6 hours so add the 4 hours of ramp time to that for a total of 10 hours of light output, but only 2 hours at the maximum setting.


In my case I want to use the channel as a PWM output so I click that button.


Also since I have 5 volt drivers I selected 0-5v PWM output.


The white light timer is shown below. The start time is 10AM. The “On for:” is 7 hours. The “Off for:” is set to 5 hours so that it last more than the ramp time in this case the ramp time is 4 hours. This is to make sure it makes it back down to the minimum setting before the timer ends. I do have separate timers for each of the 6 channels just in case I want to set one or more of them on a different time schedule. At this time all the timers are setup at the same times.


There are 3 other channels with basically the same programming with the exception of the maximum setting and use different timers. Those are the red, green and blue channels. There are two channels that are controlled by the two PWM channels on the Archon itself. The royal blue and UV channels. One of them is in the screenshot below. It is almost the same with the exception there is no output type to select.


The Alarms are attached to the 24v output power supply. Below is the 24v output control channel. It uses the OnOff function which is basically set as either on or off and will remain in that state unless a alarm changes it or the controller is powered off. It will go back to the state it is set for once the controller is powered back up.  This is set in the on mode. The 12 volt power supply is not controlled with the controller now. I used that channel to control the sump fill pump to make sure the sump has enough water level to start the siphon for the overflow. So the alarms on the lighting channels have the same alarms set as the 24v power supply channel.


The alarm setting for the 24 volt channel are in the screenshot below. The only alarms used are the two leak detect alarms. So the lights will work as long as there are no detected leaks. I guess the only reason I did this is that I can tell that something is wrong just by the fact the lights are not on when they are suppose to be on.


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Controller Auto Water Change

This is done with two DP1's. Once all the plumbing was hooked to the pumps. I put the two tubes at the sump into a catch container. Both pumps were already primed. I started the fill pump until the catch vessel was at a certain fill point. I stopped it at that point. I then programmed them both to turn on for 5 minutes the first time. I then trimmed the voltage input on one of the pumps either higher or lower depending on whether the level raised above or below the original set point. I then increased the time to 30 minutes. and trimmed again until I was not getting any change in level after the 30 minute pump event.  Below is the result of that trimming on the two water change pumps voltage settings. DP1 42GR2 is the drain pump first screenshot and DP1 GR5 is the fill pump second screenshot. The higher the voltage the more flow you get. This is the input webpage by the way.



To change the setting click the gear on the Volts tile. Then click the calibration start button. If you are just changing the name or names you can change them and click save instead of starting a calibration.


This will bring up the calibration data as shown below. The other inputs are calibrated in a similar way with either a single data point like this one or two data points like pH.


Click the copy button to transfer raw data to the data entry field. Enter the voltage you want  inot the target entry field. Then click finish.


The programming for the drain and fill pumps are the same. Both use the multitimer function with the same timers. The multi timer can use up to three timers. Each timer can be used to turn on the pumps multiple times if needed. You could use one timer and set it for as many times as you want it to turn the pump on. The reason I used all three timers is if for some reason you loose power to the Archon and you use a single timer it won't trigger the timer again until the start time. Using three timers splits the 24 hour period into three section. In the event of a power failure only one of the sections will not trigger instead of the possibly loosing a whole days worth. This is not a big deal with water change but may be a big deal if you are dosing.



The alarms that affect the fill pump are in the screenshot below.  The Low FSW Tank alarm is the storage tank for fresh salt water. If it is low then it will shut off both water change pumps. The other alarm that has not been discussed earlier is the High Salinity alarm. If the salinity is reading high it will shutdown the fill pump.  In this case it will be filled over time with the ATO pump and in turn decrease the salinity some if the drain pump continues.


The alarms that affect the drain pump are in the screenshot below. The only one not discussed yet is the Low salinity alarm. If this is active the drain pump will not run. This will raise the salinity over time if the fill pump continues to run.


There is some risk to allowing the salinity reading to shutdown either of the water change pumps without shutting down both. The alarms are set to send emails if this occurs and with the little amount of water that is dispensed or removed at any one time is low it would take a few day before this becomes an issue. Below are the screenshot of the two salinity alarms and the one for the low fresh salt water storage tank. The salinity alarms use the salinity probe as an input and the low FSW alarm uses a float switch in the fresh salt water storage tank to detect a low water level.




The three timers are in the screenshots below. All three timers are set to on for 15 minutes and 26 seconds. Timer 1 starts at 8:00AM, timer 2 starts at 1:00PM and timer 3 starts at 7:00PM. If for some reason I need to adjust the salinity one way or the other I use a different timer for the third timer for one of the pumps and eiher lower or raise the "Time On" a few seconds.




That covers my auto water change system. I have two 20 gallon Brute cans with rollers that I use. One is the fresh saltwater storage tank and the other I use to mix up my saltwater. I am working on automation to refill the mix tank with fresh DI water after it is transferred to the freshwater storage tank. This will require more pumps than I have currently. I have tried the programming by moving the one pump I have from on function to another and all seems to work. I will post this once I get all the pumps and workout the plumbing between the tanks.


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Controller Swabbie and Bio Pellet Reactor Control

The first is swabbie for the skimmer. It uses the multitimer function. Only one timer is used with this. “On at Night” is checked.


The only alarm used with this output is the skimmer off alarm. If the skimmer is off then I don't want the swabbie to run.


The single timer used has a start time of 0:0:0 but that is ignored with this type of timer. It is on for 1 minute and off for 3 hrs and 59 minutes. The continue forever is checked on this timer. This means it will start when the controller is powered and run 1 minute every 4 hours. It will continue this for as long as the controller is powered and the skimmer is running.


Now for the bio pellet reactor pump.  This is the circulation pump for the reactor. I used the pumpother function with this.  This runs constantly with the "On At Night" checked unless it is turned off by an alarm. The feed for the reactor is a tap from the return pump.


The alarms for this output are the two leak detect alarms and the return off alarm. Any of these will turn off the pump.



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Controller Night Lighting

For night lights I use the MLC modules with some lunar pods. The MLC has 6 pod outputs with three channels. Two pod outputs per channel. The MLC function is used with the MLC. It follows the lunar cycle. The maximum is the setting that will be reached during full moon. The White ramp is the time in minutes it will take to get from no light to the max light for that particular night. It also takes this amount of time for lights to go off at end of night mode. I use all three channels I have one pod of white and one pod of blue. I have two pods of red. If I want more light in the tank at night I can turn the red channel to on and get 100% red until I return it to auto. The white and blue channels are set to 100%. the red channel is set to a maximum of 50%.  The screen shots below are the settings for the three MLC channels. I used no alarm or standby settings with these outputs. I also renamed the outputs to Lunar White, Lunar Blue and Lunar Red.  I also named the module MLC 42C. The C tells me the module is in the canopy. If it had a F it would be in the front of the stand.  The PC4's in the back cabinet end with a R or L followed by a F or B. So PC4 42RB would be in the Right side back position.




The lunar function uses the night mode settings  to trigger the Outputs. The night mode settings are set from the system page in the lower left corner. Below is a screenshot of the system page. I have “Nightmode Start” set for 8:00 PM and Night mode end set for 8:00 AM. Once you have the settings entered you click the save button below the settings. The other functions that have the on at night checkbox and it is not checked the output will go off during this time period.


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Wow talk about a detailed presentation! If someone ever needs to setup the Archon...hopefully they find this thread. You should do a youtube video on this.

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1 hour ago, Reefpuck said:

Wow talk about a detailed presentation! If someone ever needs to setup the Archon...hopefully they find this thread. You should do a youtube video on this.

Thank you, I am hoping I am giving enough info that if someone wants to they can do the same things on a different controller. It is a shame Dynon decided to get out of the aquarium controller business. The Archon has become a very stable and reliable controller. Being that a Linux computer was at the heart of it. It had a lot of potential. The USB memory stick I use is 16gb of storage. That is basically the drive on the system. 

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Controller Inputs

To get to the inputs select the inputs button on the menu bar. Below is the inputs webpage. The port tile has the name of the port in the upper left. The current value is in the lower left


Clicking the gear in the upper right brings up the fields to change the name of the module and the name of the port. If all you are doing is changing one or both names you can click the save button after entering the new name or names. If you want to calibrate the port then click the start button to the right of calibrate.


Clicking the calibrate start button brings up the calibration fields. The number of fields depends on the type of calibration. In the screenshot below it is temp which is a single point calibration. You can do a dual point calibration for a temp port but that requires using the port calibrate command. You will still need the raw data values to do this. So you will still need to use this screen to get those values. For single point temp calibration you will need a reference thermometer to get the actual temp of the water. Once the probe has had time to acclimate to the water temp along with the thermometer then click copy button to the right of target data. This will copy the raw data to the data input field. Now type in the temp reading from the thermometer to the target field. Once both fields have been entered click the finish button.


Below is a screen shot of one of the pH/ORP ports of the Archon.  Since I am using this as a pH input the checkbox for set port to ORP mode is not checked.


Below is a screen shot with the calibration fields shown after clicking the start button. Notice this has two calibration points. To do this put the probe in the first calibration solution after cleaning the probe in DI water. Give the probe a few minutes to settle then click the copy button to the right of the correct point for that solution. The target field can be changed if needed. Some solutions may not be exactly 10 or 7 or you may be using 7 and 4 instead. Repeat this for the second calibration point. When both have been entered then click the finish button. I would suggest that you leave the probe in the tank where you plan to mount it for a few days before calibrating the port if it is a new probe. I would do this with any controller and pH probe.


The screen shot below is of the second pH/ORP port. I have a ORP probe connected to this one so set port to ORP mode is checked. There are also switches on the Archon next to the ports to switch also for either pH or ORP.  To get the raw data click start. The ORP ports on the Archon itself have no calibration with this method but can be calibrated using the port calibrate function. This is 2 point and requires getting the raw data for both points to calibrate. The other modules with ORP ports will have single point calibration with this method.


I will go over the port calibrate command when going over the system webpage. That covers the inputs page. Different inputs calibrate a little differently but are close to the ones shown above.

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Controller Alarms

Below is a screenshot of the alarms web page. On the left is a alarm log of all the alarms that have triggered since the log was cleared or power was restored.  The log has been cleared of all alarms on the screenshot below. On the right is a list of all alarms that have been programmed into the Archon. 


Below I triggered one of the alarms by starting one of the four standby's. In this case it is standby 2 and it has 1782 seconds left. The standby turns off the skimmer which will trigger the skimmer off alarm. This does send a email along with logging it on the alarm log. In the alarm list you can see that the alarm is active by the red true. It is a green false when the alarm is not active. When I started the standby turning off the skimmer it also triggered a overfull sump alarm. This does not normally happen unless it is already above the full float. The other alarms that are triggered are not used for alerts but by the controller on whether to use the mix storage to refill an empty saltwater storage tank or not. More on that later.


Since I used the standby to trigger the alarm I will go over it here also. In the screenshot below I have selected standby from the menu to show the four standby selections on the system. These can be named and times set from the system page. One of mine is a 4 hour standby for when I dose BioDigest to the system. It keeps the skimmer off for 4 hours. The empty skimmer turns it off for around 15 minutes.  Feed time has a time but no outputs use it. Standby 4 I have not setup for anything. The only one I normally use is the BioDigest dosing standby. I have two containers to use for the skimmer waste. I just swap one out for the other. So I don’t normally need to turn it of to empty it anymore.



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Controller System Webpage

The system webpage has a lot of information. It is were you add, edit and remove timers and alarms for,the system. I wnet over alarms and timers before. It is also where you edit the four standby's the system has. On the middle left below the timers alarms and standby's is the date and time settings. There is a date field where you can enter the current date. Below that is a time field where you can enter the current time. Below these fields is a check box labeled Use Automatic Time Synchronization. If you check this it will automatically synchronize the system time via the net once a day.


To edit a standby timer choose the one you wish to edit from the drop down box like in the screenshot below and then click the show data button to the right of the drop down box.


The data is shown in the field in the right column. The first one is the length of the standby in HH:MM:SS where HH is hours, MM is minutes and SS is seconds. In the screenshot below it is set for 15 minutes. The next field is the name for the standby. I this case it is Empty Skimmer Cup. Below the two input fields is a update button. After entering the time and the name if you are changing one or both of them click the update button to save the changes.


Below the time settings is the Temp units selection. Click the drop down list and select either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Below that is the fields for setting the beginning and end of night mode. Change the times and click the save button below the inputs to save the changes.


At the bottom of the right column is a drop down list of power options. You can select either shutdown, restore, factory reset or restart. Shutdown with kill all function on the controller so you can power it down. Restart is a way of rebooting without powering down. Restore restores programming from a saved copy and factory reset will restore everything to the way the Archon was shipped. I have only used shutdown and restart. I have not used restore or factory reset yet.  Above that and the command entry is a display of the current software and hardware installed on the Archon. The package version is the version of webpages and script that are installed on the Archon. Above this is a timer that represents the amount of time in hours: minutes: seconds that the Archon has been up and running. This is set to 0 if the unit is reset or powered down and back up.


Between the version displays and the power  options is the command input field and below that is running log of commands and return data. In the screenshot below I have entered a command GetVersions(). once you have a command typed in and hit send to the right it will execute the command line.


Below is a screenshot of the system pages after hitting send with the command above. The response is normal for that command as it does not return any data. It will update the versions data displayed above if the incorrect versions were displayed prior to sending the command. Unfortunately I do not know all the commands for this. I did learn some com,ands while doing beta testing. When I had an issue sometimes Eric from DA would have me execute commands to help with troubleshooting the issue. As far as I know there is no list of all the different commands out there anywhere. I don’t think this was for normal everyday use. I do think it is the same commands that the scripts for the webpages used to get data or change things in the system. someone that is good with java script could probably figure out most of the commands and change things on the webpages if they wanted. 


The command I really like and use the most is the PortCalibrate() command. Since this is the most important command in my opinion for the end user I will go over it in more detail next.

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Controller PortCalibrate() Command

For this command you need the module number, the port number, low set point, raw data at low set point, high set point and raw data at high set point. The command syntax is PortCalibrate(module number:Port number, low set point, low set point raw data, high set point, high set point data). Example PortCalibrate(0:7,33.6,421,75.6,-337). This is the Archon module temp port with raw data of 421at 33.6 degrees and raw data of -337 at 75.6  degrees. The set point needs the tenths place even if it is 0. An easy way to get the module and port number is to click on an alarm and click show data. Now select the sort by list box and select to sort by for the type of port you are calibrating. In this case it would be temp.  The sort by list is shown in the screenshot below.


Now select the device list box to get a list of all ports of the type selected. On my system I have 4 temp ports All 4 are shown in the device list below in the screenshot. This list has the module number, port number and port name. Since we are just after information we can click anywhere to dismiss the list. Just don't click the update button. Module 0 is always the Archon itself. In my system module 3 is a SL2 module, module 8 is a SLX module and module 17 is a SL2 module used on the mixing tank in the garage. The two numbers separated by a colon are the module number and port number. Enter this into the port calibrate command for the module and port being calibrated.


Once we have the module and port number we need the set points and the raw data at each set point. Since I have 4 temp ports I usually get the raw data at each set point at the same time. I use a thermometer to get the set point. For the temp I use ice water for the low point and the tank for the high point. I turn off the heaters and fans to make sure they don't react to the temp sensors while I am calibrating. I place the thermometer and all 4 sensors in the ice water. After giving the thermometer and sensors time to acclimate to the ice water I get the reading from the thermometer and the raw data for each sensor. To get the raw data I go the the calibration for each port and write down the raw data. Allow the controller time to update the raw data before writing it down. I use the tank water for the high temp. After I get the low data I place all the sensors back where they go and place the thermometer in the tank. I give them all time to acclimate and write down the temp on the thermometer.  I also get the raw data for each port. The data I got is listed below.

Module : Port  Low Point 33.6        High Point 75.6
0:7 .................... 421 ........................ -337
3:3 ................... 1439 ........................ 268
8:3 ................... 1068 .......................... 43
17:3 ...........................................................   This port was not done

Enter the port calibrate command into the command line. as shown in screenshot below.  unfortunately it is along command all of it doesn't show on the command line.


Then press the send button to the right of the command line. The result is in the screenshot below. The log field show the command with the results returned. Since we got a reply of no return data then there were no errors with the command. The screenshot below was for the temp port on the the Archon itself. This is also a 2 point calibration for the temp port instead of the single point calibration with regular calibration.


The next temp port to calibrate is in the screenshot below. This is for the SL2 module.



The next port calibration is in the screenshot below. This is the SLX module.



 The screenshot below is after the first 3 ports were calibrated using the port calibrate command. At this time they all have the same reading. normally they will vary some but not much more that about .3 in the range of temperature of my tank. The further away from the set point the more likely that there is an increase in the difference between them but at least it is not several degrees difference. The forth temp port has a probe in a container in the garage and is not in the tank with the other three.


That is it for the port calibration command. It can be used on pH, ORP and salinity ports also.

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